Shakespeare in the Digital Age

Act IV

Actus Quartus. Scena Prima.

Thunder. Enter the three Witches.

1 Thrice the brinded Cat hath mew'd

2 Thrice, and once the Hedge-Pigge whin'd

3 Harpier cries, 'tis time, 'tis time 

1 Round about the Caldron go:
In the poysond Entrailes throw
Toad, that vnder cold stone,
Dayes and Nights, ha's thirty one:
Sweltred Venom sleeping got,
Boyle thou first i'th' charmed pot

All. Double, double, toile and trouble;
Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble

2 Fillet of a Fenny Snake,
In the Cauldron boyle and bake:
Eye of Newt, and Toe of Frogge,
Wooll of Bat, and Tongue of Dogge:
Adders Forke, and Blinde-wormes Sting,
Lizards legge, and Howlets wing:
For a Charme of powrefull trouble,
Like a Hell-broth, boyle and bubble

All. Double, double, toyle and trouble,
Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble

3 Scale of Dragon, Tooth of Wolfe,
Witches Mummey, Maw, and Gulfe
Of the rauin'd salt Sea sharke:
Roote of Hemlocke, digg'd i'th' darke:
Liuer of Blaspheming Iew,
Gall of Goate, and Slippes of Yew,
Sliuer'd in the Moones Ecclipse:
Nose of Turke, and Tartars lips:
Finger of Birth-strangled Babe,
Ditch-deliuer'd by a Drab,
Make the Grewell thicke, and slab.
Adde thereto a Tigers Chawdron,
For th' Ingredience of our Cawdron

All. Double, double, toyle and trouble,
Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble

2 Coole it with a Baboones blood,
Then the Charme is firme and good.
Enter Hecat, and the other three Witches.

Hec. O well done: I commend your paines,
And euery one shall share i'th' gaines:
And now about the Cauldron sing
Like Elues and Fairies in a Ring,
Inchanting all that you put in.

Musicke and a Song. Blacke Spirits, &c.

2 By the pricking of my Thumbes,
Something wicked this way comes:
Open Lockes, who euer knockes.
Enter Macbeth.

Macb. How now you secret, black, & midnight Hags?
What is't you do?
All. A deed without a name

Macb. I coniure you, by that which you Professe,
(How ere you come to know it) answer me:
Though you vntye the Windes, and let them fight
Against the Churches: Though the yesty Waues
Confound and swallow Nauigation vp:
Though bladed Corne be lodg'd, & Trees blown downe,
Though Castles topple on their Warders heads:
Though Pallaces, and Pyramids do slope
Their heads to their Foundations: Though the treasure
Of Natures Germaine, tumble altogether,
Euen till destruction sicken: Answer me
To what I aske you

1 Speake

2 Demand

3 Wee'l answer

1 Say, if th'hadst rather heare it from our mouthes,
Or from our Masters

Macb. Call 'em: let me see 'em

1 Powre in Sowes blood, that hath eaten
Her nine Farrow: Greaze that's sweaten
From the Murderers Gibbet, throw
Into the Flame

All. Come high or low:
Thy Selfe and Office deaftly show.
Thunder. 1. Apparation, an Armed Head.

Macb. Tell me, thou vnknowne power

1 He knowes thy thought:
Heare his speech, but say thou nought

1 Appar. Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth:
Beware Macduffe,
Beware the Thane of Fife: dismisse me. Enough. 

He Descends.

Macb. What ere thou art, for thy good caution, thanks
Thou hast harp'd my feare aright.
 But one word more

1 He will not be commanded: heere's another
More potent then the first.

Thunder. 2 Apparition, a Bloody Childe.

2 Appar. Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth

Macb. Had I three eares, Il'd heare thee

Appar. Be bloody, bold, & resolute:
Laugh to scorne
The powre of man: For none of woman borne
Shall harme Macbeth.


Mac. Then liue Macduffe: what need I feare of thee?
But yet Ile make assurance: double sure,
And take a Bond of Fate: thou shalt not liue,
That I may tell pale-hearted Feare, it lies;
And sleepe in spight of Thunder.

Thunder 3 Apparation, a Childe Crowned, with a Tree in his hand.

What is this, that rises like the issue of a King,
And weares vpon his Baby-brow, the round
And top of Soueraignty?
All. Listen, but speake not too't

3 Appar. Be Lyon metled, proud, and take no care:
Who chafes, who frets, or where Conspirers are:
Macbeth shall neuer vanquish'd be, vntill
Great Byrnam Wood, to high Dunsmane Hill
Shall come against him.


Macb. That will neuer bee:
Who can impresse the Forrest, bid the Tree
Vnfixe his earth-bound Root? Sweet boadments, good:
Rebellious dead, rise neuer till the Wood
Of Byrnan rise, and our high plac'd Macbeth
Shall liue the Lease of Nature, pay his breath
To time, and mortall Custome. Yet my Hart
Throbs to know one thing: Tell me, if your Art
Can tell so much: Shall Banquo's issue euer
Reigne in this Kingdome?
All. Seeke to know no more

Macb. I will be satisfied. Deny me this,
And an eternall Curse fall on you: Let me know.
Why sinkes that Caldron? & what noise is this?


1 Shew

2 Shew

3 Shew

All. Shew his Eyes, and greeue his Hart,
Come like shadowes, so depart.

A shew of eight Kings, and Banquo last, with a glasse in his hand.

Macb. Thou art too like the Spirit of Banquo: Down:
Thy Crowne do's seare mine Eye-bals. And thy haire
Thou other Gold-bound-brow, is like the first:
A third, is like the former. Filthy Hagges,
Why do you shew me this? - A fourth? Start eyes!
What will the Line stretch out to'th' cracke of Doome?
Another yet? A seauenth? Ile see no more:
And yet the eighth appeares, who beares a glasse,
Which shewes me many more: and some I see,
That two-fold Balles, and trebble Scepters carry.
Horrible sight: Now I see 'tis true,
For the Blood-bolter'd Banquo smiles vpon me,
And points at them for his. What? is this so?
1 I Sir, all this is so. But why
Stands Macbeth thus amazedly?
Come Sisters, cheere we vp his sprights,
And shew the best of our delights.
Ile Charme the Ayre to giue a sound,
While you performe your Antique round:
That this great King may kindly say,
Our duties, did his welcome pay.

Musicke. The Witches Dance, and vanish.

Macb. Where are they? Gone?
Let this pernitious houre,
Stand aye accursed in the Kalender.
Come in, without there.
Enter Lenox.

Lenox. What's your Graces will

Macb. Saw you the Weyard Sisters?
Lenox. No my Lord

Macb. Came they not by you?
Lenox. No indeed my Lord

Macb. Infected be the Ayre whereon they ride,
And damn'd all those that trust them. I did heare
The gallopping of Horse. Who was't came by?
Len. 'Tis two or three my Lord, that bring you word:
Macduff is fled to England

Macb. Fled to England?
Len. I, my good Lord

Macb. Time, thou anticipat'st my dread exploits:
The flighty purpose neuer is o're-tooke
Vnlesse the deed go with it. From this moment,
The very firstlings of my heart shall be
The firstlings of my hand. And euen now
To Crown my thoughts with Acts: be it thoght & done:
The Castle of Macduff, I will surprize.
Seize vpon Fife; giue to th' edge o'th' Sword
His Wife, his Babes, and all vnfortunate Soules
That trace him in his Line. No boasting like a Foole,
This deed Ile do, before this purpose coole,
But no more sights. Where are these Gentlemen?
Come bring me where they are.


Scena Secunda.

Enter Macduffes Wife, her Son, and Rosse.

Wife. What had he done, to make him fly the Land?
Rosse. You must haue patience Madam

Wife. He had none:
His flight was madnesse: when our Actions do not,
Our feares do make vs Traitors

Rosse. You know not
Whether it was his wisedome, or his feare

Wife. Wisedom? to leaue his wife, to leaue his Babes,
His Mansion, and his Titles, in a place
From whence himselfe do's flye? He loues vs not,
He wants the naturall touch. For the poore Wren
(The most diminitiue of Birds) will fight,
Her yong ones in her Nest, against the Owle:
All is the Feare, and nothing is the Loue;
As little is the Wisedome, where the flight
So runnes against all reason

Rosse. My deerest Cooz,
I pray you schoole your selfe. But for your Husband,
He is Noble, Wise, Iudicious, and best knowes
The fits o'th' Season. I dare not speake much further,
But cruell are the times, when we are Traitors
And do not know our selues: when we hold Rumor
From what we feare, yet know not what we feare,
But floate vpon a wilde and violent Sea
Each way, and moue. I take my leaue of you:
Shall not be long but Ile be heere againe:
Things at the worst will cease, or else climbe vpward,
To what they were before. My pretty Cosine,
Blessing vpon you

Wife. Father'd he is,
And yet hee's Father-lesse

Rosse. I am so much a Foole, should I stay longer
It would be my disgrace, and your discomfort.
I take my leaue at once.

Exit Rosse.

Wife. Sirra, your Fathers dead,
And what will you do now? How will you liue?
Son. As Birds do Mother

Wife. What with Wormes, and Flyes?
Son. With what I get I meane, and so do they

Wife. Poore Bird,
Thou'dst neuer Feare the Net, nor Lime,
The Pitfall, nor the Gin

Son. Why should I Mother?
Poore Birds they are not set for:
My Father is not dead for all your saying

Wife. Yes, he is dead:
How wilt thou do for a Father?
Son. Nay how will you do for a Husband?
Wife. Why I can buy me twenty at any Market

Son. Then you'l by 'em to sell againe

Wife. Thou speak'st withall thy wit,
And yet I'faith with wit enough for thee

Son. Was my Father a Traitor, Mother?
Wife. I, that he was

Son. What is a Traitor?
Wife. Why one that sweares, and lyes

Son. And be all Traitors, that do so

Wife. Euery one that do's so, is a Traitor,
And must be hang'd

Son. And must they all be hang'd, that swear and lye?
Wife. Euery one

Son. Who must hang them?
Wife. Why, the honest men

Son. Then the Liars and Swearers are Fools: for there
are Lyars and Swearers enow, to beate the honest men,
and hang vp them

Wife. Now God helpe thee, poore Monkie:
But how wilt thou do for a Father?
Son. If he were dead, youl'd weepe for him: if you
would not, it were a good signe, that I should quickely
haue a new Father

Wife. Poore pratler, how thou talk'st?
Enter a Messenger.

Mes. Blesse you faire Dame: I am not to you known,
Though in your state of Honor I am perfect;
I doubt some danger do's approach you neerely.
If you will take a homely mans aduice,
Be not found heere: Hence with your little ones
To fright you thus. Me thinkes I am too sauage:
To do worse to you, were fell Cruelty,
Which is too nie your person. Heauen preserue you,
I dare abide no longer.

Exit Messenger

Wife. Whether should I flye?
I haue done no harme. But I remember now
I am in this earthly world: where to do harme
Is often laudable, to do good sometime
Accounted dangerous folly. Why then (alas)
Do I put vp that womanly defence,
To say I haue done no harme?
What are these faces?
Enter Murtherers.

Mur. Where is your Husband?
Wife. I hope in no place so vnsanctified,
Where such as thou may'st finde him

Mur. He's a Traitor

Son. Thou ly'st thou shagge-ear'd Villaine

Mur. What you Egge?
Yong fry of Treachery?
Son. He ha's kill'd me Mother,
Run away I pray you.

Exit crying Murther.

Scaena Tertia.

Enter Malcolme and Macduffe.

Mal. Let vs seeke out some desolate shade, & there
Weepe our sad bosomes empty

Macd. Let vs rather
Hold fast the mortall Sword: and like good men,
Bestride our downfall Birthdome: each new Morne,
New Widdowes howle, new Orphans cry, new sorowes
Strike heauen on the face, that it resounds
As if it felt with Scotland, and yell'd out
Like Syllable of Dolour

Mal. What I beleeue, Ile waile;
What know, beleeue; and what I can redresse,
As I shall finde the time to friend: I wil.
What you haue spoke, it may be so perchance.
This Tyrant, whose sole name blisters our tongues,
Was once thought honest: you haue lou'd him well,
He hath not touch'd you yet. I am yong, but something
You may discerne of him through me, and wisedome
To offer vp a weake, poore innocent Lambe
T' appease an angry God

Macd. I am not treacherous

Malc. But Macbeth is.
A good and vertuous Nature may recoyle
In an Imperiall charge. But I shall craue your pardon:
That which you are, my thoughts cannot transpose;
Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell.
Though all things foule, would wear the brows of grace
Yet Grace must still looke so

Macd. I haue lost my Hopes

Malc. Perchance euen there
Where I did finde my doubts.
Why in that rawnesse left you Wife, and Childe?
Those precious Motiues, those strong knots of Loue,
Without leaue-taking. I pray you,
Let not my Iealousies, be your Dishonors,
But mine owne Safeties: you may be rightly iust,
What euer I shall thinke

Macd. Bleed, bleed poore Country,
Great Tyrrany, lay thou thy basis sure,
For goodnesse dare not check thee: wear y thy wrongs,
The Title, is affear'd. Far thee well Lord,
I would not be the Villaine that thou think'st,
For the whole Space that's in the Tyrants Graspe,
And the rich East to boot

Mal. Be not offended:
I speake not as in absolute feare of you:
I thinke our Country sinkes beneath the yoake,
It weepes, it bleeds, and each new day a gash
Is added to her wounds. I thinke withall,
There would be hands vplifted in my right:
And heere from gracious England haue I offer
Of goodly thousands. But for all this,
When I shall treade vpon the Tyrants head,
Or weare it on my Sword; yet my poore Country
Shall haue more vices then it had before,
More suffer, and more sundry wayes then euer,
By him that shall succeede

Macd. What should he be?
Mal. It is my selfe I meane: in whom I know
All the particulars of Vice so grafted,
That when they shall be open'd, blacke Macbeth
Will seeme as pure as Snow, and the poore State
Esteeme him as a Lambe, being compar'd
With my confinelesse harmes

Macd. Not in the Legions
Of horrid Hell, can come a Diuell more damn'd
In euils, to top Macbeth

Mal. I grant him Bloody,
Luxurious, Auaricious, False, Deceitfull,
Sodaine, Malicious, smacking of euery sinne
That ha's a name. But there's no bottome, none
In my Voluptuousnesse: Your Wiues, your Daughters,
Your Matrons, and your Maides, could not fill vp
The Cesterne of my Lust, and my Desire
All continent Impediments would ore-beare
That did oppose my will. Better Macbeth,
Then such an one to reigne

Macd. Boundlesse intemperance
In Nature is a Tyranny: It hath beene
Th' vntimely emptying of the happy Throne,
And fall of many Kings. But feare not yet
To take vpon you what is yours: you may
Conuey your pleasures in a spacious plenty,
And yet seeme cold. The time you may so hoodwinke:
We haue willing Dames enough: there cannot be
That Vulture in you, to deuoure so many
As will to Greatnesse dedicate themselues,
Finding it so inclinde

Mal. With this, there growes
In my most ill-composd Affection, such
A stanchlesse Auarice, that were I King,
I should cut off the Nobles for their Lands,
Desire his Iewels, and this others House,
And my more-hauing, would be as a Sawce
To make me hunger more, that I should forge
Quarrels vniust against the Good and Loyall,
Destroying them for wealth

Macd. This Auarice
stickes deeper: growes with more pernicious roote
Then Summer-seeming Lust: and it hath bin
The Sword of our slaine Kings: yet do not feare,
Scotland hath Foysons, to fill vp your will
Of your meere Owne. All these are portable,
With other Graces weigh'd

Mal. But I haue none. The King-becoming Graces,
As Iustice, Verity, Temp'rance, Stablenesse,
Bounty, Perseuerance, Mercy, Lowlinesse,
Deuotion, Patience, Courage, Fortitude,
I haue no rellish of them, but abound
In the diuision of each seuerall Crime,
Acting it many wayes. Nay, had I powre, I should
Poure the sweet Milke of Concord, into Hell,
Vprore the vniuersall peace, confound
All vnity on earth

Macd. O Scotland, Scotland

Mal. If such a one be fit to gouerne, speake:
I am as I haue spoken

Mac. Fit to gouern? No not to liue. O Natio[n] miserable!
With an vntitled Tyrant, bloody Sceptred,
When shalt thou see thy wholsome dayes againe?
Since that the truest Issue of thy Throne
By his owne Interdiction stands accust,
And do's blaspheme his breed? Thy Royall Father
Was a most Sainted-King: the Queene that bore thee,
Oftner vpon her knees, then on her feet,
Dy'de euery day she liu'd. Fare thee well,
These Euils thou repeat'st vpon thy selfe,
Hath banish'd me from Scotland. O my Brest,
Thy hope ends heere

Mal. Macduff, this Noble passion
Childe of integrity, hath from my soule
Wip'd the blacke Scruples, reconcil'd my thoughts
To thy good Truth, and Honor. Diuellish Macbeth,
By many of these traines, hath sought to win me
Into his power: and modest Wisedome pluckes me
From ouer-credulous hast: but God aboue
Deale betweene thee and me; For euen now
I put my selfe to thy Direction, and
Vnspeake mine owne detraction. Heere abiure
The taints, and blames I laide vpon my selfe,
For strangers to my Nature. I am yet
Vnknowne to Woman, neuer was forsworne,
Scarsely haue coueted what was mine owne.
At no time broke my Faith, would not betray
The Deuill to his Fellow, and delight
No lesse in truth then life. My first false speaking
Was this vpon my selfe. What I am truly
Is thine, and my poore Countries to command:
Whither indeed, before they heere approach
Old Seyward with ten thousand warlike men
Already at a point, was setting foorth:
Now wee'l together, and the chance of goodnesse
Be like our warranted Quarrell. Why are you silent?
Macd. Such welcome, and vnwelcom things at once
'Tis hard to reconcile.
Enter a Doctor.

Mal. Well, more anon. Comes the King forth
I pray you?
Doct. I Sir: there are a crew of wretched Soules
That stay his Cure: their malady conuinces
The great assay of Art. But at his touch,
Such sanctity hath Heauen giuen his hand,
They presently amend.

Mal. I thanke you Doctor

Macd. What's the Disease he meanes?
Mal. Tis call'd the Euill.
A most myraculous worke in this good King,
Which often since my heere remaine in England,
I haue seene him do: How he solicites heauen
Himselfe best knowes: but strangely visited people
All swolne and Vlcerous, pittifull to the eye,
The meere dispaire of Surgery, he cures,
Hanging a golden stampe about their neckes,
Put on with holy Prayers, and 'tis spoken
To the succeeding Royalty he leaues
The healing Benediction. With this strange vertue,
He hath a heauenly guift of Prophesie,
And sundry Blessings hang about his Throne,
That speake him full of Grace.
Enter Rosse.

Macd. See who comes heere

Malc. My Countryman: but yet I know him not

Macd. My euer gentle Cozen, welcome hither

Malc. I know him now. Good God betimes remoue
The meanes that makes vs Strangers

Rosse. Sir, Amen

Macd. Stands Scotland where it did?
Rosse. Alas poore Countrey,
Almost affraid to know it selfe. It cannot
Be call'd our Mother, but our Graue; where nothing
But who knowes nothing, is once seene to smile:
Where sighes, and groanes, and shrieks that rent the ayre
Are made, not mark'd: Where violent sorrow seemes
A Moderne extasie: The Deadmans knell,
Is there scarse ask'd for who, and good mens liues
Expire before the Flowers in their Caps,
Dying, or ere they sicken

Macd. Oh Relation; too nice, and yet too true

Malc. What's the newest griefe?
Rosse. That of an houres age, doth hisse the speaker,
Each minute teemes a new one

Macd. How do's my Wife?
Rosse. Why well

Macd. And all my Children?
Rosse. Well too

Macd. The Tyrant ha's not batter'd at their peace?
Rosse. No, they were wel at peace, when I did leaue 'em
Macd. Be not a niggard of your speech: How gos't?
Rosse. When I came hither to transport the Tydings
Which I haue heauily borne, there ran a Rumour
Of many worthy Fellowes, that were out,
Which was to my beleefe witnest the rather,
For that I saw the Tyrants Power a-foot.
Now is the time of helpe: your eye in Scotland
Would create Soldiours, make our women fight,
To doffe their dire distresses

Malc. Bee't their comfort
We are comming thither: Gracious England hath
Lent vs good Seyward, and ten thousand men,
An older, and a better Souldier, none
That Christendome giues out

Rosse. Would I could answer
This comfort with the like. But I haue words
That would be howl'd out in the desert ayre,
Where hearing should not latch them

Macd. What concerne they,
The generall cause, or is it a Fee-griefe
Due to some single brest?
Rosse. No minde that's honest
But in it shares some woe, though the maine part
Pertaines to you alone

Macd. If it be mine
Keepe it not from me, quickly let me haue it

Rosse. Let not your eares dispise my tongue for euer,
Which shall possesse them with the heauiest sound
that euer yet they heard

Macd. Humh: I guesse at it

Rosse. Your Castle is surpriz'd: your Wife, and Babes
Sauagely slaughter'd: To relate the manner
Were on the Quarry of these murther'd Deere
To adde the death of you

Malc. Mercifull Heauen:
What man, ne're pull your hat vpon your browes:
Giue sorrow words; the griefe that do's not speake,
Whispers the o're-fraught heart, and bids it breake

Macd. My Children too?
Ro. Wife, Children, Seruants, all that could be found

Macd. And I must be from thence? My wife kil'd too?
Rosse. I haue said

Malc. Be comforted.
Let's make vs Med'cines of our great Reuenge,
To cure this deadly greefe

Macd. He has no children. All my pretty ones?
Did you say all? o hell-kite! All?
What, all my pretty chickens and their dam
At one fell swoop?

Malc. Dispute it like a man.

Macd. I shall do so.
But I must also feel it as a man.
I cannot but remember such things were,
That were most precious to me. Did heaven look on, 
And would not take their part? Sinful Macduff, 
They were all struck for thee! Naught that I am,
Not for their own demerits but for mine
Fell slaughter on their souls. Heavens rest them now!

Malc. Be this the whetstone of your sword. Let 
Convert to anger; blunt not the heart, enrage it.


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